Belgian computer science student Joris spent 5 days at Cardiff School of Management as part of the International Week programme earlier this year – here’s what he thought of Cardiff Met and the Welsh Capital:
On Monday we woke up in our hostel Nos Da, and started our first day at Cardiff Met. A little bit unprepared, we started our journey to the uni. Being students and having a lack of British pounds for the week, we decided to walk. It took around 40 minutes, so not too far from the hostel.
Once we arrived at the University we had a welcome speech from Jason, the head of computing at Cardiff Met. We played a little game called Kahoot to discover more about our behavior on social media such as how often we use it, and why.
All week long we would be divided into international groups. Our group contained 4 Belgians, 1 German and 1 Englishman. In the afternoon we did specific team building exercises which helped to develop relationships between us.
At noon we had our first meal at Cardiff Met, and from a vegetarian point of view they had quite a good variety food on offer. Around 15:30 we ended our first day and went out for a drink. We had the pleasure to be guided by William Prince, a local student from Cardiff Met who lives in Plymouth.
Day 2 was a bit more cultural. In the morning we had two presentations about how social media is used in marketing and a second presentation about SEO (search engine optimization). After these presentations we had a little bit time to work on our project. The main goal of today was to get an overview of all different social media platforms that are out there, and which can be used to promote Cardiff through social media.
After our meal we went for a 40 min walk to Cardiff Castle, which was pretty impressive. We had the rest of the day to explore every corner of the castle grounds, so we did.
All of the international students went out for food at The Prince of Wales pub in the evening. We had good food and some beers. I had a nice veggie chili with nachos and chips. All of the students were already psyched to go out for speed boating on the next day in Cardiff Bay!
Cardiff Met Day 3, pretty busy day ahead of us! Like most of the other days we had a couple of presentations to attend and some project work. The presentations were especially interesting – one was about data harvesting tools and one about social media’s role in society. Project work today was a quick brainstorm about how we are going to put our poster together. A nice idea we had was using the flag of Wales and the Welsh Dragon as a foundation.
In the afternoon we went to a beautiful place called Cardiff Bay. We enjoyed the view and went to the National Assembly building, The Senedd. We were privileged to watch a live debate in the assembly – although I had no idea what they were talking about it was pretty interesting to see! When we left, the speed boat was ready to take us on a trip out into the bay. After speed boating we quickly took a taxi to the city centre because we were attending the 2017 Welsh Varsity Rugby game between Cardiff University and Swansea University. I’m not going to tell you too many details about the match, it was just brilliant and you should go watch a rugby game to get a taste of the atmosphere in and around the city on match day!
Day 4 was all about getting some work done. The first presentation of the day taught us more about how we can manage our career through social media. The second was on the evolution of social media called, appropriately, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”. After completing our poster in the afternoon we went out for some drinks and I went to bed early because I had to attend a wedding on Saturday.
Our last day in Cardiff. The main goal of today was basically travelling. We presented our poster to Jason and talked about we would promote Cardiff through social media. After that we had our goodbye speech from Jason and started to travel back home. On Saturday at 8:10 we landed in Brussels after a 2 hour bus trip, about 8 hours of waiting at the airport and a one hour flight.
Cardiff was very good to us – the city, the university and the people. I think I can say that I fell in love with a city 700km away from my home. Hope to see to see you soon CF5!
Check out the other side of the story – read all about Cardiff Met computer science student Sonny’s experiences in Belgium and Holland.